Head of Product UC

Department for Work and Pensions

Based in Manchester or Leeds with hybrid working arrangement (home and office working)

  • Location

    Based in Manchester or Leeds with hybrid working arrangement (home and office working)

  • Job type


  • Sector

    Central Government, Digital, Data & Technology

  • Salary/Remuneration

    To £100,000

  • Job ref


  • Expiry date

    15 May 2022

  • Client

    Department for Work and Pensions

Ref: GSe75732

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) touches the lives of every citizen in the country at some point in their life. Our mission is clear, to improve people’s quality of life both now and in the future.

DWP provides services and support to over 22 million people in the country, many of whom are at vulnerable moments in their lives. This role is about putting the needs of those people at the heart of our service design and delivery, and by doing so making their lives – and the experience of the staff who serve them – better. The role of the Head of Product is to understand the needs of the users of Universal Credit, a critical component of the modern welfare state. As Head of Product, you will translate those user needs into the vision, design and roadmap of measurable outcomes of a service that is continually evolving. This role will focus particularly on the needs of claimants in our growing claimant base and the support they need to gain employment and progress in work.

During the height of the pandemic and national lockdowns in the UK, demand for support from Universal Credit grew exponentially. There are now over 5.5m citizens receiving Universal Credit, and the user base continues to grow. This role is about ensuring that the Universal Credit service meets the needs generated by that growth and – by continually learning from and responding to user feedback – improving experience and outcomes.

The person:

As Head of Product, you’ll not only work on one of the highest-profile products in government, but also one that continues to be at the forefront globally of digitally enabled welfare reform. You will be providing product leadership for a team of 400 product development professionals, in 23 multidisciplinary teams, working in 4 DWP offices (London, Leeds, Manchester, and Newcastle). Part of a 17,000 strong government wide Digital, Data and Technology profession, you’ll be leading fully integrated, multi-disciplinary, empowered teams each of which has responsibility for everything from product strategy, through design and development, to live support. This is a role of genuine stretch and purpose, delivering social good on a truly national scale.   

Essential criteria:

To succeed in this role, you will have:

  • A track record of working in a significant scale of agile environment and as a Product Leader.
  • Demonstrable experience in product strategy, backlog/roadmap prioritisation, development of business cases, success criteria and using multiple insights such as user feedback and performance analytics.
  • A thorough understanding and demonstrable commitment to user centred design. 
  • Exceptional leadership skills particularly in leading multi-disciplinary teams with the ability to understand a range of different professions – security, technical, design, operational etc – and to manage conflicting views to enable good design and prioritisation choices.
  • Extensive stakeholder management experience in a complex matrix structure.
  • Experience of running a large, live, digital service, delivering continuous improvement and support to users.

We value everybody and we are passionate about making DWP an inclusive place to work, where everyone feels they can be themselves and are supported to be their best.  As such, we welcome candidates from a diverse range of backgrounds.

Recruitment Timetable

Closing Date for Applications
Sunday 15 May 2022 (23:55)

Preliminary Interviews with GatenbySanderson
w/c Monday 23 May 2022 & w/c Monday 30 May 2022

Assessments, Stakeholder Engagement Exercise (SEE) & Fireside Chats (FSC)
Wednesday 8 June 2022 to Friday 24 June 2022 - SEE Thursday 16 June 2022

Final Panel Interviews
Wednesday 29 June 2022

How to Apply

To apply for this role, please submit:

  • An up to date and relevant CV setting out your career history, with responsibilities and achievements
  • A Supporting Statement (no more than 2 pages of  A4) that addresses the criteria set out in the person specification, using examples to demonstrate how you meet the essential requirements.
  • Please provide your home, work, mobile and email contact details and let us know of any dates when you are not available or where you may have difficulty with the indicative timetable.
  • Once you have submitted your application, you will receive an automated email to confirm that you have applied. If you do not receive this email, please make contact with GatenbySanderson.

Should you wish to have a confidential conversation with to explore this role before applying please contact our advising consultant at GatenbySanderson: Adrian Barlow on 07393 011150 or Sarah Luxford on 07812 150 386


  1. Guaranteed Interview Scheme.docx
  2. How to write a Suitability Statement.pdf


Adrian Barlow: 07393 011150